Sunday, December 25, 2016

christmas day, a light has come

It  is late afternoon, the time when the winter light is a thin layer of yellow over the trees in the horizon. It has been a long day that started when little ones emerged from their rooms with big, eager smiles. Ready for gifts. Since then, there has been a scavenger hunt to find hidden gifts, pancakes and turkey bacon, a church service. Now, my nephew is sitting next to me on the couch, computer open, video playing. My niece is on the floor in the next room, making a roller coaster out of plastic pieces that snap together, move and light up. She is being helped by her dad and the younger neighbor boy. "It works!" they just exclaimed over the hum of a small motor.

We are together. It has not been a perfect day. Ones of us have been frustrated, disappointed, sick. But it has been a good day. Gifts, wrapped to hide their contents, were opened to the delight of being thought of and known and loved. The sun warmed everything it touched. Ice nearly melted - though not enough for the ducks to swim on the lake that I ran alongside. Instead, they waddled slowly on top of the thin layer between water and sky. This, too, a grace: walking on water.

To those who were in darkness, a light has come. Wonderful, mighty, everlasting, full of peace.

Now, as I finish writing, the light has faded. But it will not leave.

Merry Christmas, friends.

(photo: morning light during a run, northern new jersey)

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